Affordable laptop looks set to muscle-in on Surface Pro 4 turf

We were impressed with Chuwi’s 15.6-inch LapBook when we took it for a spin at the end of last year, given what it offered for the money, and now it appears that the Chinese PC vendor is cooking up what will doubtless be a very competitively priced sort-of-rival to the Surface Pro 4.

Chuwi has announced details of its incoming LapBook 12.3 which is due to arrive at the end of the month.

It will run with an Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core processor (clocked at 1.1GHz with turbo to 2.2GHz) backed up with 6GB of system memory, along with integrated graphics – Intel HD Graphics 500. Storage will be 64GB of eMMC flash.

But the display is the interesting bit in more ways than one, with the LapBook 12.3 running with a 3:2 aspect ratio display that has a resolution of 2736 x 1824. In other words, exactly the same size screen and pixel density as seen in Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4.

Forgoing flexibility

Note that this is not a direct SP4 rival insomuch that it’s a straight notebook, as opposed to a hybrid with a detachable screen, but the fact that it uses the same panel, in combination with a relatively slim form factor, could make it an interesting alternative for those on a strict budget who are prepared to sacrifice some flexibility.

Chuwi’s machine boasts dimensions of 300 x 223 x 16.7mm, by the way, so it’s thin enough, although not exactly ultra-light at 1.45kg (although at the same time, it’s perfectly portable).

Of course, the other interesting point here is the pairing of this high-res screen with a Celeron processor, which could struggle with more demanding tasks in terms of shifting all those pixels. But for the average user and general computing usage, the CPU is likely to be fine.

As for the price itself, that’s yet to be confirmed, but we expect it to be very wallet-friendly. To give you an idea of the sort of value-for-money Chuwi usually aspires to, the aforementioned 15.6-inch LapBook was selling for around £150 (about $185, AU$250) when it was first released (the base version of the machine, that is).

Purely on the pricing front, then, this is one to watch.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).